One of the great wonders of the world is located off the coast of Cairns: the Great Barrier Reef. What better way to spend a vacation than snorkeling off sparkling blue shores and enjoying a rainbow of colorful coral and fish? Of course to do that you need to get through the airport first – here’s the information you need to make your trip easier:
The airport has two separate buildings for international (north building, or T1) and domestic flights (west building, or T2). The ground floor of the international terminal is for check-in, arrivals and baggage claim; first floor is for departures. The separate domestic terminal has all of its facilities on the ground floor: check-in, arrivals, departures, and baggage claim.
T1 and T2 close after the final scheduled flight and reopen at 3am.
To transfer to a different terminal you can use the interconnecting walkway (to the right at international as you exit, and to the left at domestic as you exit) which takes about 5 minutes.
Airport management recommends allowing three hours for customs and security checks, processing and unexpected delays. For domestic flights, you’ll be able to check-in much faster than this – but remember, in Australia, the flight boarding is closed between 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the flight) before the scheduled departure time – and the airlines will not make an exception if you’re late. Be sure to allow enough time to get to the airport and check-in. You’ll find flight information displays at numerous places in the concourses of both terminals.
Cairns Airport offers Ambassadors, known by their bright green shirts. They can provide help and directions if you need them. Information and first aid kiosks are provided in both terminals.
There are no ongoing or current renovations being undertaken at Cairns Airport. However, visitors to the airport may want to update themselves on current weather conditions due to seasonal cyclones and/or heavy rain.
Traveling To And From The Airport
Cairns Airport is accessible by bus, rental car, taxi and shuttle. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to the city center.
Numerous companies offer taxi, limousine and shuttle service. Fares are usually $15 – 25 AUD one way to the city. A $3 AUD exit fee applies for taxis. You can pre-book shuttles and taxis, but both are available on arrival. You will need to pre-book limousines.
Many rental car companies offer services from within the airport, but there are also a number of local comppanies available in the city.
The local public bus system is run by Sun Palm Transport. Their shuttle bus runs 24 hours a day, is there to greet all flights and can drop you off at your hotel. You do not have to book ahead for this service. If you are taking the bus to the airport, then the shuttle leaves from Cairns CBD once an hour throughout the day. Sun Palm kiosks are located in both terminals. Tickets cost $12 AUD per person one way to the CBD, and $35 AUD to Port Douglas.
For more information is available at Sun Palm’s website on timetables, maps, fares and stops or phone +61 07 4087 2900.